In my continuing series of the best places to eat in Vientiane, it is with great sadness that I must announce that the fabulous chicken soup place near our house now seems permanently closed. The people still live there but they are no longer serving soup. Another great eatery bites the dust.
But, right across the street from the school I work for is a restaurant to die for. When I first went there it was no more than a hole in the wall and now it is a bigger hole in the wall.
Their pork soup is really the main attraction: the pork is nice and crunchy, the noodles are cooked to perfection and the greens are fresh. The pale meat balls melt in your mouth. On the table is an assortment of local spices and condiments that I have grown used to. Of course, I don’t really understand why there are both wet and dry chilli powders, not to mention a chilli paste, but the effect of chilli on the soup is electrifying. On very hot days the Lao pile this stuff on and it makes them sweat and even causes their eyes to tear and they will sit there and look like they are suffering, wiping themselves down with tissue paper. There must be some reason why they subject themselves to what seems like torture, so every time I eat there I add just a bit more chilli to my soup to see if I can crack the mystery.
This soup is so filling that I find if I have one after my morning class I feel no hunger until dinner time.
The lady who is the reigning spirit of the place is always smiling and pleasant and she gives you a breath mint with your change.
Cost of soup: 8,000 KIP or 1 American dollar. Drinking water is free. Reservations are not necessary. Visa not accepted.